The COVID-19 epidemic has changed how we interact with the world. Social distancing has changed the way we connect with other people and has led to many businesses closing their doors. While the fact that restaurants, bars, and retail stores have closed their doors has been widely publicized, many may not realize that other vital services have had to change the way they provide services. The way people access therapy services is changing dramatically. Therapists generally provide face-to-face treatment for clients but have had to shift to online and over-the-phone services as physical interactions become more limited. Whether or not you were already working with a therapist prior to the coronavirus pandemic, now may be one of the best times to speak with one.
There are many reasons why a person may be hesitant to speak with a therapist. A lack of time, stigmas surrounding mental health, or an inability to find a provider are all obstacles in seeking help. Now, with therapy sessions being provided through different avenues and more people staying at home, the ability to find online care can make treatment more accessible.
Therapy in the Age of the Coronavirus
Everyone struggles with different challenges in life and finds ways to cope. Not every coping mechanism is healthy and can lead to the development of additional issues. With the introduction of social distancing, the stress and anxiety surrounding COVID-19, and the dramatic lifestyle changes many people have had to make, it is not uncommon to find that mental health is significantly impacted. Social distancing can increase feelings of loneliness and isolation, further exacerbating problems with mental health. For many people, receiving extra support through therapy can help them better cope with the changing landscape.
Expressing your worries with a trained professional can help you better manage your mental health. Therapists can help you work through difficult thoughts, feelings, and challenges by helping you to better understand how your mood and behaviors affect your overall wellbeing. Some of the most profound benefits of therapy, especially during the pandemic, include:
- Finding ways to cope with emotions and stressors: Therapy is designed to help people develop life skills and tools to support mental health. The COVID-19 epidemic has been a life-changing, even traumatic, experience for many people and there are countless people struggling with its impact. Therapy can help you view your experience from a different perspective, talk through challenges, and receive feedback about how it is affecting your everyday life. Speaking out loud about the problems you face can help you start the process of healing.
- Accountability: Social distancing can make people feel more alone but having someone you speak with on a regular basis can help you feel more connected. A therapist can help you identify your individual challenges and develop ways to overcome them. As goals are set, a therapist can speak with you about your progress, any obstacles you face, and help hold you accountable. Social support is vital in achieving and maintaining your goals.
- Find purpose: Many people are struggling with productivity and may find it difficult to continue moving forward. Opening yourself up to another person about these struggles can help you gain perspective. A therapist can help you identify what is important to you and what you can do to achieve a sense of fulfillment. The changes in our world have left many people feeling depleted and a therapist can help you shift your thought process to focus on working towards goals that can create more meaning in your life.
- Identifying and working through problems: The coronavirus has introduced a unique set of challenges for many people. Changes in lifestyle can cause major shifts in mental health, especially if you do not have healthy coping mechanisms established. A therapist can help you create a plan to address the problems you are facing so that you do not become overwhelmed by them. It is completely normal to feel unsure, anxious, or angry about how the coronavirus has impacted your life. Rather than allowing these feelings to drive you towards unhealthy behaviors and thought patterns, a therapist can help you view challenges through a different lens and develop strategies to overcome them.
Online and over-the-phone therapy can be a bit difficult as your therapist may not be able to use body language as a means of reading your mental state which makes it especially important to be open and honest. Expressing your concerns about the coronavirus, your individual experience, and how it is impacting your life is vital to making progress.
One of the most beneficial aspects of engaging with a therapist during this time is that it allows you the time to develop new habits. As more people find they have more time on their hands, they are better able to dedicate time towards working through challenges to create new habits. It can provide routine and can create a foundation for building better coping mechanisms. Most importantly, therapy can help reduce stress and anxiety, decrease feelings of loneliness, and help you realize that you are not alone.
Although therapy over the phone may help some, others may still need to seek treatment. Nexus Recovery Services is currently open and helping people with mental health and addiction struggles during the COVID-19 pandemic. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.